I like vibrant, deeply pigmented dark berry lipsticks but finding the right color intensity and undertone can be difficult as the wrong shade can make me look muted and grungy, and even more sallow. Many dark berry lip shades are best left on very pale or dark skin-toned women with cool, blue undertones. Although, I can see these shades working as a neutral on evenly toned medium-tan, caramel, wheatish or dark olive skintones. On me, the following shades looked kind of muted, and not as vibrant AND rich as I had hoped. My uneven, green tinted, tanned skintone robbed some of the color intensity from these shades that would have popped on someone else.
1. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in La Sensuelle (#40), $32.50
I have very limited experience with Chanel lipsticks. I find many of the shades that Chanel favors (in most of their cosmetics) tend to be more flattering on very light, pale skintones with undertones common for either east asian or european women. So, I don’t often go sifting through Chanel. But I do occasionally peek and check things out a few times a year. With this particular lipstick, I was intrigued because it was matte and it has a very thin, weightless feel. Most of the shades did not interest me (and would NOT have been flattering), but I did find two winners: La Sensuelle (#40) and La Somptueuse (#39). La Sensuelle (#40) is a mid to dark berry shade with a blue undertone. In certain candlelit lighting it looks dark and rich. In broad daylight, it looks muted and dusty on my lips. But I was very impressed with the lightness and thin texture of the product that still provided full color opacity, and with how the color didn’t shift. This would be a great shade for someone with a true blue cool tone, whether very fair or very dark. I can also see this as a neutral on medium toned women with dark olive, tan, or caramel skintones, as long as the skin is very polished and even-toned. On me, it is a blah. One more thing, this lipstick has a cool push-pen opening mechanism for the lipstick capsule/container. This is the kind of container you enjoy pulling out in public.
2. Cover Girl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Entwined, SRP
I had high hopes for this shade hoping it would be a vibrant, plum-berry, but no such luck. This shade is even more muted and duller than Chanel’s La Sensuelle (#40). There is definitely more mauvey plum in this shade, then berry. This is a slightly creamy lipstick. Not very thin or thick. I like the deepness of the tone, what I don’t like is how faded and muted it appears. To be honest, I don’t think this shade would be flattering on anyone, okay – I am exaggerating – maybe, the pink-toned with ashy blond, or brown, hair, or as a neutral on evenly toned wheatish, olive, or caramel skintones. I am not pleased this did not work on me. As a stand alone swatch, it looks great. On my lips , it is not that great. But at least this was a cheap mistake. 🙂
Now these swatches look all vibrant and bright on my arm (partly because the inside of my arm is almost two shades lighter than my tanned face, which kicks up the color contrast, which I like), but on my lips, not so much, except for Tempt Seduction which is a super bright on, or off, my lips. Also, you better make sure to REALLY exfoliate your lips, especially for the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet. The texture of your lips will be obvious with this on. Cover Girl’s Lip Perfection is very creamy and minimizes this issue.
Out of curiosity, I wondered if I could punch up the vibrancy of my Cover Girl Lip Perfection in Entwined with another shade on hand. I also noted that the undertone of this color is similar to Chanel’s La Sensuelle (#40). Well, I got to experimenting and what do you know, Cover Girl’s Lip Perfection in Tempt Seduction, which is a vibrant fuchsia/berry shade, blended with Cover Girl’s Lip Perfection in Entwined, creates a very similar shade to Chanel’s La Sensuelle (#40). I layered the shades out of laziness, but I think you need to actually blend those two together to get the closest match possible. If you want to try this out I suggest starting with Tempt Seduction as a base and add a bit of Entwined. Check out the swatches below.
I want to point out that Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour washed completely off my arm after use of an oil cleanser, while Cover Girl Lip Perfection stained the heck out of my arm for an entire day. I think if your lips are naturally pigmented, you probably wouldn’t notice the stain, but on your arm, it is quite noticeable. Tempt Seduction, in particular, was deeply stained into my arm. Do not wear Cover Girl Lip Perfection and kiss your significant other with it…they will be very pissed off when they cannot wipe it off.
Hope this was somewhat helpful. If you have an suggestions for vibrant AND dark berry-plummy lips that look good on yellow-green toned girls let me know!